The PGA Tour has finally caught the stage to Fort Worth and the Colonial Invitational, and come Sunday they’ll catch the last stage out of Texas to Jack’s place in Dublin, Ohio, and the Texas swing will be over for another year. And what a swing it has been.
The Texas journey began April 19th in the hill country just north of San Antonio where Ben Curtis, appearing to wear the same clothes he wore when he won the 2003 British Open, rose from the dead to win again. Then because the PGA Tour is in charge of travel, they took a short cut to Dallas via the Zurich Classic in New Orleans where Jason Dufner cashed in and got married. Right after the reception, the Tour took another short cut to Dallas via the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina for Rickie Fowler’s coming out party, which was followed by a detour to The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra, Florida and Matt Kuchar’s big win. Okay, now it’s off to the Byron Nelson in Dallas because it’s right on the way.
Now I’m no good with numbers, but by my calculations, the Tour made the 300-mile trip from San Antonio to Dallas and the Byron Nelson Championship about two thousand miles and three weeks longer than it needed to be, but that’s just me.
Holy cow! Somebody buy the Tour a GPS. And while you’re at it, you should buy them a weather map as well (check out the wind and the temperatures this week in Texas), but that’s another story.
Here we are in Cowtown. Since the PGA Tour started its Texas journey back in April, Jason Dufner now has two wins and a new bride. Rickie Fowler has made Puma’s year, and Matt Kuchar has his signature win. Crazy travel schedules aside, it’s been fun to watch, and the best could be still ahead.
The U.S. Open, being played this year at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, is only three weeks away, and with so many guys playing so well, it has the potential to be one of the most exciting Opens in years, not to mention how good the food will be.
Most of us thought that this would be the Tiger comeback year, and even though he won at Bay Hill, he has never looked like the man to beat in 2012. Certainly, he still has the time to put it all back together in 2012, but I can’t find anybody who believes he’s put all of his swing demons behind him. Butch Harmon may have given Tiger the best advice when he said he should forget everything and just go out and hit the ball. By the way, Butch said the same thing to me, followed by “Don’t ask for any more free lessons.”
But seriously, I love what’s happening to golf these days. I love that Rory McIlroy is the number one player in the world and that he’s bringing his skills to the U.S. on a regular basis. I love that Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker are still playing so great. I also love that Bubba Watson won the Masters, and that guys like Hunter Mahan, Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, and Rickie Fowler are playing so well, and the good news is that there is a lot more golf still to be played.
With the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA, the FedEx Cup, and the Ryder Cup still ahead, I am already tempted to nominate 2012 as one of golf’s best years, and not because someone is dominating, but because there are so many great players in the hunt each week. Back when Tiger’s world started falling apart I wrote something about how much golf needed Tiger. I know it’s hard to believe, but I may have been wrong.
Perhaps, the next big thing will win ten in a row next year, but until that happens, you’ll have to admit that this has been a pretty great year, so far; and if Matt Kuchar or Rickie Fowler wins this week and Rory McIlroy wins next week, we may have to declare this fun year totally official.